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J. Dev. Biol., Volume 9, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 7 articles

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Open AccessArticle
The Collagens DPY-17 and SQT-3 Direct Anterior–Posterior Migration of the Q Neuroblasts in C. elegans
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9010007 - 19 Feb 2021
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Abstract
Cell adhesion molecules and their extracellular ligands control morphogenetic events such as directed cell migration. The migration of neuroblasts and neural crest cells establishes the structure of the central and peripheral nervous systems. In C. elegans, the bilateral Q neuroblasts and their [...] Read more.
Cell adhesion molecules and their extracellular ligands control morphogenetic events such as directed cell migration. The migration of neuroblasts and neural crest cells establishes the structure of the central and peripheral nervous systems. In C. elegans, the bilateral Q neuroblasts and their descendants undergo long-range migrations with left/right asymmetry. QR and its descendants on the right migrate anteriorly, and QL and its descendants on the left migrate posteriorly, despite identical patterns of cell division, cell death, and neuronal generation. The initial direction of protrusion of the Q cells relies on the left/right asymmetric functions of the transmembrane receptors UNC-40/DCC and PTP-3/LAR in the Q cells. Here, we show that Q cell left/right asymmetry of migration is independent of the GPA-16/Ga pathway which regulates other left/right asymmetries, including nervous system L/R asymmetry. No extracellular cue has been identified that guides initial Q anterior versus posterior migrations. We show that collagens DPY-17 and SQT-3 control initial Q direction of protrusion. Genetic interactions with UNC-40/DCC and PTP-3/LAR suggest that DPY-17 and SQT-3 drive posterior migration and might act with both receptors or in a parallel pathway. Analysis of mutants in other collagens and extracellular matrix components indicated that general perturbation of collagens and the extracellular matrix (ECM) did not result in directional defects, and that the effect of DPY-17 and SQT-3 on Q direction is specific. DPY-17 and SQT-3 are components of the cuticle, but a role in the basement membrane cannot be excluded. Possibly, DPY-17 and SQT-3 are part of a pattern in the cuticle and/or basement membrane that is oriented to the anterior–posterior axis of the animal and that is deciphered by the Q cells in a left–right asymmetric fashion. Alternatively, DPY-17 and SQT-3 might be involved in the production or stabilization of a guidance cue that directs Q migrations. In any case, these results describe a novel role for the DPY-17 and SQT-3 collagens in directing posterior Q neuroblast migration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Adhesion Molecules in Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Binding Analyses of HOXB1 Revealed a Novel DNA Binding Motif Associated with Gene Repression
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9010006 - 03 Feb 2021
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Abstract
Knowledge of the diverse DNA binding specificities of transcription factors is important for understanding their specific regulatory functions in animal development and evolution. We have examined the genome-wide binding properties of the mouse HOXB1 protein in embryonic stem cells differentiated into neural fates. [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the diverse DNA binding specificities of transcription factors is important for understanding their specific regulatory functions in animal development and evolution. We have examined the genome-wide binding properties of the mouse HOXB1 protein in embryonic stem cells differentiated into neural fates. Unexpectedly, only a small number of HOXB1 bound regions (7%) correlate with binding of the known HOX cofactors PBX and MEIS. In contrast, 22% of the HOXB1 binding peaks display co-occupancy with the transcriptional repressor REST. Analyses revealed that co-binding of HOXB1 with PBX correlates with active histone marks and high levels of expression, while co-occupancy with REST correlates with repressive histone marks and repression of the target genes. Analysis of HOXB1 bound regions uncovered enrichment of a novel 15 base pair HOXB1 binding motif HB1RE (HOXB1 response element). In vitro template binding assays showed that HOXB1, PBX1, and MEIS can bind to this motif. In vivo, this motif is sufficient for direct expression of a reporter gene and over-expression of HOXB1 selectively represses this activity. Our analyses suggest that HOXB1 has evolved an association with REST in gene regulation and the novel HB1RE motif contributes to HOXB1 function in part through a repressive role in gene expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020 Feature Papers by JDB’ Editorial Board Members)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Altered Cogs of the Clock: Insights into the Embryonic Etiology of Spondylocostal Dysostosis
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9010005 - 29 Jan 2021
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Abstract
Spondylocostal dysostosis (SCDO) is a rare heritable congenital condition, characterized by multiple severe malformations of the vertebrae and ribs. Great advances were made in the last decades at the clinical level, by identifying the genetic mutations underlying the different forms of the disease. [...] Read more.
Spondylocostal dysostosis (SCDO) is a rare heritable congenital condition, characterized by multiple severe malformations of the vertebrae and ribs. Great advances were made in the last decades at the clinical level, by identifying the genetic mutations underlying the different forms of the disease. These were matched by extraordinary findings in the Developmental Biology field, which elucidated the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in embryo body segmentation into the precursors of the axial skeleton. Of particular relevance was the discovery of the somitogenesis molecular clock that controls the progression of somite boundary formation over time. An overview of these concepts is presented, including the evidence obtained from animal models on the embryonic origins of the mutant-dependent disease. Evidence of an environmental contribution to the severity of the disease is discussed. Finally, a brief reference is made to emerging in vitro models of human somitogenesis which are being employed to model the molecular and cellular events occurring in SCDO. These represent great promise for understanding this and other human diseases and for the development of more efficient therapeutic approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Development: Focus on Rare Congenital Diseases)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of JDB in 2020
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9010004 - 29 Jan 2021
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Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that JDB maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
The Skull’s Girder: A Brief Review of the Cranial Base
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9010003 - 23 Jan 2021
Viewed by 327
Abstract
The cranial base is a multifunctional bony platform within the core of the cranium, spanning rostral to caudal ends. This structure provides support for the brain and skull vault above, serves as a link between the head and the vertebral column below, and [...] Read more.
The cranial base is a multifunctional bony platform within the core of the cranium, spanning rostral to caudal ends. This structure provides support for the brain and skull vault above, serves as a link between the head and the vertebral column below, and seamlessly integrates with the facial skeleton at its rostral end. Unique from the majority of the cranial skeleton, the cranial base develops from a cartilage intermediate—the chondrocranium—through the process of endochondral ossification. Owing to the intimate association of the cranial base with nearly all aspects of the head, congenital birth defects impacting these structures often coincide with anomalies of the cranial base. Despite this critical importance, studies investigating the genetic control of cranial base development and associated disorders lags in comparison to other craniofacial structures. Here, we highlight and review developmental and genetic aspects of the cranial base, including its transition from cartilage to bone, dual embryological origins, and vignettes of transcription factors controlling its formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology)
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Open AccessReview
Study of Natural Longlife Juvenility and Tissue Regeneration in Caudate Amphibians and Potential Application of Resulting Data in Biomedicine
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9010002 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 335
Abstract
The review considers the molecular, cellular, organismal, and ontogenetic properties of Urodela that exhibit the highest regenerative abilities among tetrapods. The genome specifics and the expression of genes associated with cell plasticity are analyzed. The simplification of tissue structure is shown using the [...] Read more.
The review considers the molecular, cellular, organismal, and ontogenetic properties of Urodela that exhibit the highest regenerative abilities among tetrapods. The genome specifics and the expression of genes associated with cell plasticity are analyzed. The simplification of tissue structure is shown using the examples of the sensory retina and brain in mature Urodela. Cells of these and some other tissues are ready to initiate proliferation and manifest the plasticity of their phenotype as well as the correct integration into the pre-existing or de novo forming tissue structure. Without excluding other factors that determine regeneration, the pedomorphosis and juvenile properties, identified on different levels of Urodele amphibians, are assumed to be the main explanation for their high regenerative abilities. These properties, being fundamental for tissue regeneration, have been lost by amniotes. Experiments aimed at mammalian cell rejuvenation currently use various approaches. They include, in particular, methods that use secretomes from regenerating tissues of caudate amphibians and fish for inducing regenerative responses of cells. Such an approach, along with those developed on the basis of knowledge about the molecular and genetic nature and age dependence of regeneration, may become one more step in the development of regenerative medicine Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sas-4 Colocalizes with the Ciliary Rootlets of the Drosophila Sensory Organs
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9010001 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 361
Abstract
The Drosophila eye displays peculiar sensory organs of unknown function, the mechanosensory bristles, that are intercalated among the adjacent ommatidia. Like the other Drosophila sensory organs, the mechanosensory bristles consist of a bipolar neuron and two tandemly aligned centrioles, the distal of which [...] Read more.
The Drosophila eye displays peculiar sensory organs of unknown function, the mechanosensory bristles, that are intercalated among the adjacent ommatidia. Like the other Drosophila sensory organs, the mechanosensory bristles consist of a bipolar neuron and two tandemly aligned centrioles, the distal of which nucleates the ciliary axoneme and represents the starting point of the ciliary rootlets. We report here that the centriole associated protein Sas-4 colocalizes with the short ciliary rootlets of the mechanosensory bristles and with the elongated rootlets of chordotonal and olfactory neurons. This finding suggests an unexpected cytoplasmic localization of Sas-4 protein and points to a new underscored role for this protein. Moreover, we observed that the sheath cells associated with the sensory neurons also display two tandemly aligned centrioles but lacks ciliary axonemes, suggesting that the dendrites of the sensory neurons are dispensable for the assembly of aligned centrioles and rootlets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cilia in Development)
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